After five years Paris Agreement
Chalmers University of Technology (Swedish: Chalmers tekniska högskola, often shortened to Chalmers), founded in 1829, is a Swedish university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education in technology, natural science and architecture. Its researchers and those of Lund University, founded in 1666, in Sweden and Central European University in Vienna, Austria, founded in 1991, after analysing the growth rates of wind and solar power in 60 countries conclude that virtually no country is moving sufficiently fast enough to avoid global warming of 1.5°C or even 2°C.
Based on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) after five years Paris Agreement it is clear that the efforts are not sufficient to reach the 1.5-degree goal – projections point to a three-degree warming by 2100, something that would have serious consequences.
Unequivocal link between human emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming
The latest IPCC report states that there is an unequivocal link between human emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming. The report further states that the earth is heating up quickly and that the 1.5-degree target risks being overshot within ten to twenty years, as well as that the warming is expected to have very serious consequences. It is already noticeable that climate change is here, which is reflected in extreme weather such as heat waves and torrential rain. The report emphasises that every tonne of emissions plays a role, and emissions need to decrease rapidly if heating is to be limited to 1.5 or 2 degrees.
Need to move faster
Kimberly Nicholas, climate researcher at Lund University, says
“It is very clear that the current pledges are not enough. Governments and countries must move much faster to reach the Paris Agreement.”
The professors at those universities are convinced that the current pledges are not enough to bring a positive change in the development of climate change. For Kimberly Nicholas, it is clear that governments and countries must move much faster to reach the Paris Agreement.
Also Markku Rummukainen, professor of climatology at Lund University and Sweden’s representative to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emphasises that the situation is urgent. The latest IPCC report, which is very strong and clear, shows that warming is accelerating more than expected. He says
Historically, it can be seen that the reports played a role in increasing the pace of climate negotiations”
“we risk exceeding the 1.5-degree target within ten to twenty years – and action on climate goals is increasingly urgent.”
Emily Boyd, professor in sustainability science at Lund University, says
“With the Paris Agreement, each country has been tasked with developing goals and plans for keeping global warming below 2 degrees, or as low as 1.5 degrees. The countries of the world agree on the long-term goal, and it has become something of a benchmark for climate work”
Need for more climate policy
Jessica Jewell, Associate Professor of Energy Transitions at Chalmers University of Technology, says
“We came up with a new method — to use mathematical models to measure the slope of the S-curve, that is, the maximum growth rate achieved at its steepest point. It is an entirely novel way to look at the growth of new technologies.”
Markku Rummukainen finds that the implementation gap can, in turn, lead to a confidence gap and says
“So far, emissions are decreasing much more slowly than the targets state. There is a need for more climate policy, but also for climate policy to have a greater impact in other areas, such as infrastructure, forestry and finance.”
“Things have started to happen, for example the share of renewable energy is increasing, and petrol and diesel cars have started to face competition, and consumption patterns are also being discussed more. Things have shifted. But because it starts from a low level, it takes time before you see the effect.”
Solar and wind energy
When analyzing the 60 largest countries, the researchers found that the maximum growth rate for onshore wind power is on average 0.8 percent of the total electricity supply per year, and 0.6 percent on average for solar — much lower than in the IPCC recommended scenarios. Sustained growth faster than 2 percent per year for wind and 1.5 percent for solar has only occurred in smaller countries such as Portugal, Ireland and Chile.
Aleh Cherp, professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy at Central European University and Lund University, when looking at what many countries tried to do, finds that
“Among larger countries, only Germany has so far been able to sustain growth of onshore wind power comparable with median climate stabilisation scenarios. In other words, to stay on track for climate targets, the whole world should build wind power as fast as Germany built recently. There may be limits to how fast wind and solar can be expanded and thus we should systematically analyze the feasibility of other climate solutions, especially for fast growing Asian economies such as India and China.”
For Rebecca Barthelmie, professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, in the College of Engineering, the solution lies in accelerating wind-energy technology.
Barthelmie and Sara C. Pryor, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, calculated that implementing advance wind energy scenarios could achieve a reduction in global warming atmospheric average temperatures of 0.3 to 0.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Need of greenhouse gas reduction strategies
Barthelmie and Pryor are convinced we need to implement other greenhouse gas reduction strategies will also to avert environmental disaster. But
“It makes perfect sense to rapidly deploy wind energy as a key part of decarbonising the electricity supply.”
says Pryor, looking at six countries that are generating more than 20% of their demand, while the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain are close to achieving 20% of electricity demand with wind energy. China has reported about 5% of its electricity supply from wind energy.
The United States generates 8.4% of its electricity from wind, as of 2020, with six states (Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, Kansas and Illinois) containing more than half of wind energy capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Wind turbines are now deployed in 90 countries, generating about 7% of global electricity, and the expansion of installed capacity of wind energy continues.
“While the scale of anthropogenic climate change is daunting, our research illustrates that wind energy can substantially reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses at the national and global scale, and measurably reduce the amount of temperature increase.”
“Both technically and economically, advanced deployment scenarios are feasible. It needs more political will.”